Substantive short articles on Marxian sociology

Welfare Against Work

Existing scholarship on the movement has either ignored the NWRO's antiwork perspective, or else insisted that the NWRO’s critiques of waged work were primarily gendered. Based on a careful analysis of the organization's archives, Wilson Sherwin makes a compelling case that an antiwork agenda was central to the NWRO's politics.

By |2020-02-01T07:03:21-05:00Jan 8, 2020|

What’s Wrong with Rent and the Rentier?

It is of course true that monopoly power is not unique to rentierism. It frequently characterizes other forms of capitalist enterprise as well. But rentierism is distinctive insofar as it is the form of capitalism to which monopoly power is inherent. Monopoly infuses the way in which rentier assets are owned and controlled. And it infuses the manner in which such assets are commercialized to generate rental income. In short, the rentier sweats monopoly from every pore. And that is the problem.

By |2019-12-19T02:45:01-05:00Dec 18, 2019|

Capitalism, Neoliberalism and Unfree Labour

Although most labour rights activists readily identify the status of these migrant workers as legally unfree, there is, however, a deeper form of unfreedom and coercion in the labour market that deserves much more attention than it receives in discussions of unfreedom. This unfreedom and coercion is not reducible to a legal status but is instead rooted in the very nature of the relationship between employer and worker in capitalist society.

By |2019-11-27T11:19:34-05:00Nov 27, 2019|

States and Stakes: Relational Theory and the Politics of Class Struggle

How we conceive of the state has profound effects on how we understand political strategy. In this essay, written in response to Michael A. McCarthy's recent intervention, Zachary Levenson and Teresa Kalisz argue that only by seeing the state as truly relational can we avoid the pitfall of placing undue emphasis on organizing within the state, rather than the vital work of base building.

By |2019-11-20T13:09:26-05:00Nov 20, 2019|

Marx and the Dutch East India Company

Marx's examination of Dutch colonial violence in Indonesia highlight's important aspects of his approach to original accumulation that are easily lost when viewing the chapter, "the so-called original accumulation," through the lens of English exceptionalism, as many Marxists are prone to do.

By |2019-11-05T12:31:37-05:00Nov 5, 2019|

Du Bois and the Jefferson School of Social Science

The Jefferson School of Social Science's mission was not only to educate cadre in Marxist theory, students were also expected to take that education into the street in mass actions including protests, and political organizing. This mission resonated with W.E.B. Du Bois’ goal to create inter-racial solidarity for an equitable future. The Jefferson School provided him the opportunity to bring that sentiment to the masses, and more importantly fix Africa and Black Americans in the vision for a socialist future predicated on the unity of all the oppressed.

By |2019-10-29T17:13:35-04:00Oct 29, 2019|

A Great Little Man: The Shadow of Jair Bolsonaro

How to assess the new Brazilian regime? Early as it is in Bolsonaro’s rule, some broad stroke preliminaries are possible. In what follows I trace the political paralysis of the first five months, the popular social base of Bolsonarismo, its relationship to capital, and the role of evangelical Pentecostalism. I offer a biographical profile of Bolsonaro himself, map the three pivotal factions constituting the new government, and assess the economic outlook of the country. To anticipate the basic conclusions: the Bolsonaro regime is a weak and internally divided far-right regime, with declining popular support; capital backed Bolsonaro as a way out of crisis, but thus far the regime has not delivered, and the markets are losing faith.

By |2019-10-15T16:56:43-04:00Oct 15, 2019|